Fictional Character Case Study

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Fictional Character Case Study

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1. Julia Kelley Honors Psychology Project Fictional Character Case Study

2. Character: Gollum

3. The Diagnosis: -Possibly a paranoid schizophrenic

4. A Brief Biography of Gollum

5. Deagol’s refusal to willingly give Gollum the ring is likely what triggers Gollum’s personality disorder(s). While Gollum was likely predisposed to develop a personality disorder, this was the turning point for him. IMPORTANCE: Early Life Gollum is born as Smeagol, a peaceful, humanlike creature who lives with others of his kind. One day, Smeagol and his friend Deagol find a ring at the bottom of a river while fishing. Both desperately want to have the ring, and Smeagol ends up killing Deagol in order to obtain possession of it. Smeagol is eventually renamed “Gollum” because of a strange noise he starts to make with his throat. When he starts using the ring to commit bad deeds, he is forced to leave his people.

6. Gollum takes the ring and lives alone in a dark cave for many years. His appearance and personality change. He survives by eating fish, and he has no companionship aside from the ring. Becoming “Gollum”

7. Losing the Ring Eventually, Bilbo Baggins comes to the cave and tricks Gollum before leaving with the ring, Gollum’s most prized possession. When the ring passes on to Bilbo’s younger relative Frodo, Frodo is told to travel to Mount Doom, where it can be destroyed. Gollum begins following Frodo and Frodo’s companions in the hope that he can reclaim the ring.

8. While Frodo and his friend Sam are sleeping one night, Gollum attacks them. However, Frodo and Sam are expecting the attack and overcome Gollum. Frodo is kind to Gollum, which brings out the “Smeagol” part of his personality once more. “Smeagol” tells the “Gollum” personality to leave and never return. “Smeagol” Comes Back…

9. …But “Gollum” Comes Through in the End When Frodo, Sam, and Smeagol are captured, Smeagol is beaten; Smeagol blames Frodo, and “Gollum” returns. While Gollum continues to act like “Smeagol,” he secretly plots to kill Frodo and Sam.

10. Explanation for the Diagnosis

11. Paranoid Schizophrenia The Symptoms: Hallucinations Delusional thoughts of persecution/conspiracy May be hostile or easily angered May have some difficulty thinking and/or speaking coherently May not appear outwardly disturbed Gollum definitely has delusional thoughts regarding his beloved ring, and his possessiveness of it leads him to be easily angered. His speech is strange and occasionally jumbled.

12. Schizophrenia, as we have learned, means “split from reality,” not “split personality.” Gollum does not merely hear and see imaginary beings; he is actually capable of becoming someone else and periodically switching between two different personalities. This is more typical of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), one of the more severe types of disorders resulting in a “split personality.” Schizophrenia vs. Multiple Personalities

13. Smeagol Gollum’s Two Personalities Gollum

14. Smeagol Trusting Passive Submissive (refers to Frodo as “master”) Paranoid Aggressive Manipulative and scheming Gollum’s Two Personalities (cont.) Gollum

15. Gollum seems to be suffering from more than just Dissociative Identity Disorder, however. He also seems to have at least one of the following personality disorders: -Schizotypal Personality Disorder -Paranoid Personality Disorder -Borderline Personality Disorder Some of these disorders come out more strongly depending on which personality Gollum is acting on (“Gollum” or “Smeagol”) For example, the Paranoid Personality Disorder comes out more strongly in “Gollum” than in “Smeagol”

16. Schizotypal Personality Disorder Eccentric manner of speaking Referral to the ring as “precious” Constant use of “we” when referring to himself Referral to Sam as “it” rather than “he” Making “gollum” sound in his throat Referral to Frodo as “master” Difficulty forming relationships Becomes overly attached to Frodo and hostile towards Sam Reacting inappropriately in social situations Offers raw rabbit meat to Frodo as a gift Talking to oneself

17. Paranoid Personality Disorder Interpreting actions as deliberately threatening Blames Frodo when Frodo accidentally leads him into an attack Unforgiving Unable to forgive Frodo after this incident Perceiving others as unfaithful or untrustworthy Gollum’s paranoia comes out most strongly when he is “Gollum” as opposed to “Smeagol.”

18. Borderline Personality Disorder Unstable mood and behavior Intense inappropriate anger Difficulty with relationships Fear of abandonment leads to over-dependency Gollum becomes overly dependent on Frodo View the world in extremes (“all good” and “all bad”) Intense attachments often ruined over small issue Feels that Frodo “betrayed” him although Frodo apologizes Unstable self-image More present in character of “Smeagol”

19. It should first be determined whether or not Gollum has actual schizophrenia. Gollum will likely need at least some medication to control his anger. He will also probably require extensive therapy in order to deal with the trauma of his past (killing Deagol, living in extreme isolation, etc.). Possible Treatment

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